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Virgin Media: 4m homes to get 152Mbit/s cable - register your interest now

Seth Barton
13 Feb 2015
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Huge new investment in cable broadband, register your interest now

Virgin Media this morning announced a huge new investment in cable broadband services in the UK. The £3bn of private investment will be used to connect around 4m homes and businesses to Virgin Media's cable network, which should then provide broadband speeds of at least 152Mbit/s. Virgin Media claim it's the largest investment in the UK's internet infrastructure in more than a decade. 

Dubbed 'Project Lightning' it will take five years to complete, finishing in around 2020. In doing so, Virgin Media will increase the number of properties connected to its network by around a third, up from the half of UK properties currently hooked up. That will mean that nearly 17 million premises in the UK will be connected.

Where exactly the service will be expanded is yet to be decided. However, you can make your need for faster broadband known by registering your interest at Cable My Street or register your business's need for faster broadband at Cable My Business. The service rollout will be planned based on demand, so register your interest now and maybe you could turn your internet 'notspot' into a 'hotspot'.

The investment, the first major expansion in decades, comes as a result of the company's takeover last year by Liberty Global, a cable giant with operations in 14 countries. The company also bought a 6.4% stake in ITV last year and so looks to be upping its involvement in the UK.

The move is planned to create 6,000 new jobs, including 1,000 apprenticeships, and if you're interested in working on it then head over to careers.virginmedia.com. While the benefit to the UK economy as a whole is estimated to be £8bn in improved productivity. 

There's no downside to a UK cable network with greater reach, we just hope that areas without current high-speed access are targeted, rather than doubling up coverage alongside BT's fibre network in well-provided for urban locations. Either way, giving more people access to cable will increase competition and should help drive down prices. Now if Liberty Global could just persuade ITV to sort out ITV Player we'd all be happy.

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